Chocolate chip cookies get a makeover
No Sugar November has been rolling along and so far, most people have survived.
I did get one e-mail from someone on the verge of sugar-withdrawal hysteria, but we have since brought her back from the brink.
She was being tormented by birthday doughnuts in the office kitchen.
Letting go of the sugary stuff is just not easy and the most common obstacle is being tripped up by an unsupportive environment.
If your blood sugar is balanced, if you have healthy snacks on hand, if you're well hydrated then it's fairly easy to ditch the habit of seeking out sugar.
However, when it is right there in front of you — at the checkout, in the office, at a baby shower or birthday party — it's so much harder to resist temptation!
During the second half of this challenge, most people have chosen to try and avoid all sugars, whether natural or processed, aside from whole fruit.
The idea isn't necessarily to get people to give up sugar for the rest of their lives, but instead to help recalibrate their taste buds so that a little sugar is enough.
The beauty of this is that waking up your taste buds in general, usually means you need less salt and less saturated fats to feel satisfied, too.
It gets us back to a simpler, more basic way of eating that still tastes amazing.
Once you're there, the healthier treat or dessert options can totally knock your socks off.
This Chia Chocolate Chip cookie recipe does use sugar but it's not an overload.
In addition, the almond flour and chia seed add some extra protein and fibre that help to steady the impact on your blood sugar.
Made from scratch with real ingredients, these also avoid the high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavours and hydrogenated oils found in mainstream brands.
While some people argue that sugar, is sugar, is sugar …. that's not actually, necessarily the case.
High-fructose corn syrup is a challenge because the fructose has to be processed via the liver — in comparison to glucose, which does not.
These days we see children and adults developing a fatty liver, not through alcohol exposure, but via an overconsumption of fructose. Yikes.
In today's weird food environment where temptation is everywhere, it's going to be hard to avoid all sugar.
However, making your own healthier alternatives, especially when you bump up the protein, is a great way to modify your intake.
This recipe gives you a real food solution to a packet of Chips Ahoy.
Have a great weekend and enjoy!
• 1 cup small oats (gluten free if need be)
• ½ cup almond flour
• ½ cup brown rice flour
• ½ cup sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
• ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (allergy friendly if need be, eg Enjoy Life)
• ¹/8 cup chia seed
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 large egg
• ½ cup non-GMO safflower, grapeseed or coconut oil
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
1, Using a hand whisk, whisk the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet in another.
2, Combine the two bowls and stir well, then use your hands to completely form the dough.
3, Chill the dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
4, Preheat oven to 355F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet.
5, Roll the dough into small golf balls (should make approximately 14). Flatten half way and space apart on the tray.
6, Bake for 12 minutes, at which point open the oven briefly and check they are spreading. If they need extra help, lightly flatten the top of each cookie with the back of a fork.
7, Bake for another 2-3 minutes until very lightly golden.
8, Leave to cool completely on the rack before transferring to a plate or storage.
• Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. For details: www.natural.bm, 236-7511 or, on Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda